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12-17-2016, 12:52 AM   #1
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Decisions....

I have been mulling over the purchase of a full frame DSLR for awhile now. I've had Pentax since 1968 and over the years have had / continue to have much in the way of Pentax equipment, both film and digital. Currently I have 3 bodies (K10D, Km, K5) and around 12 digital lenses...11 of them Pentax, one Sigma. So I've committed to the Pentax line. Still happy with the performance, durability and reliability of Pentax equipment.

But when...if.... I go full frame, I'm considering not only the K-1, but also Canon 5D111, Nikon D750 and some Canikon lenses..not a lot...something like a 24-105 L or 24-70 and/or 70-200 L F 4 and if Nikon is the choice, then Nikon lens equivalents.

I would still keep and use my Pentax ASP-C equipment.

I realize the K-1 specs are better than either the 5D3 or the D750, but the Canikon cameras are very good, having said that.

What with Black Friday, sales, Xmas sales ...I've noted there isn't much of anything...reduced price wise for the Pentax line ...K-1 or Pentax lenses. In comparison there are good price reductions for the 5D3, D750 and lenses. In fact local camera store's Xmas sales flyers feature Canikon equipment and to a lesser degree Fuji, Sony, etc....but no Pentax equipment.

Yes, I realize that the current 'normal' price for the K-1 is very good...some may argue that therefore...Pentax doesn't need to join in with holiday season price reductions, but I don't buy that argument. That's me.

Another issue is of course I can walk into any camera store in my middle sized Canadian city and buy from stock...a 5D3, D750 and Canikon lenses. I used to be able to buy Pentax equipment from local camera stores stock, but for the past few years...that's not an option, as none carry Pentax gear in their stores, anymore.

I know I can order in...7-14 days. Point is....it's my observation that there doesn't seem to be much retail confidence in Pentax...in my city.

Ongoing lack of local retail support for Pentax equipment ...and the lack of retail support is not only local from what I read on this forum...equals continuation of less sales, and continued and greater 'invisibility' as a viable product to the point that many consumers in the market are not even aware that Pentax exists.
As sales people say...you can't sell from an empty wagon.

I'm at an age where I figure there's maybe one, possibly two new camera bodies that I will purchase. Although I would prefer to get a K-1...because I like using Pentax equipment and I have a number of K mount lenses that I could use on the K-1, I'm hesitant, given my thoughts expressed in this thread.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Pentax and I think almost 50 years of continued loyalty to the Pentax brand...in a big way...confirms that . In fact even considering changing brands...full frame anyways...is a bit of a painful thing for such a long term Pentaxian (me) to wrestle with...but there you have it.

My question is, I want a full frame DSLR to supplement my Pentax ASP-C system and in years previous, felt that whenever Pentax brought out their FF DSLR (the K-1) than it would be a foregone conclusion that the Pentax FF would be the camera I would get. But now, given how things are going.....

As the saying goes....what say you ?

12-17-2016, 01:18 AM   #2
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If you want to run with the herd, no one's stopping you, Les! :-D

I'm happily shooting with my K-1 and rarely use my Sony A7 any more.



12-17-2016, 01:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Ongoing lack of local retail support for Pentax equipment
I sense you really would prefer a Pentax K-1 and why not?

I say stick to your guns and stick it up the local stores that do not stock Pentax. Either demand they order it in for you, or if they can't deliver tell them you are going elsewhere and why. Here in Australia there is a dearth of local camera stores. Those that are in the suburbs and smaller towns are usually little more than franchise operators. The stores are owned by major corporations operating to margins and don't give a toss for their customers' preferences. I occasionally walk through these shops looking at their camera stocks and when approached by staff, I just say "I am interested in a Pentax K-7, 5, 3, or 1, whatever is the latest" When the reply comes back "Sorry we don't stock Pentax", my response is "That's a pity, I'll look elsewhere" Perhaps one day the worm will turn and they will get the message.
12-17-2016, 01:23 AM   #4
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I started with a K100D, then K20D, then K5 (actually 2 of them) and a bunch of lenses - which you can see in my signature.

I sidewaysed into Canon with a used 40D and a new Tamron 150-600 because the K5-Sigma 150-500 was too slow to focus at airshows.

Thought I would keep both systems as I had the DA Limiteds and a fisheye zoom, etc. Bought the cheap Canon 50mm, and eventually the 17mm TS. It became clear I was not going to carry two systems as walk-arounds. Got a used 5D original (basically as another option for the 17TS which cost 4X),

I decided to stick with Canon. Sold my Pentax (for less than I thought it was really worth - but at a time when people were pondering the upcoming FF Pentax), as I bought more Canon gear which now includes the 70D with articulated screen (always wanted that) some used/refurbed convenience zooms for it, and the budget-minded 6D FF and some new primes.

I got the 70D and 6D from Adorama when they had some good rebates as well as combos deals - and I sold off the combo items. I did have to spend a bit more than I made in the Pentax sale but I've never regretted it.

Baa. Baa, baa.


Last edited by SpecialK; 12-17-2016 at 01:28 AM.
12-17-2016, 01:47 AM   #5
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It's an interesting situation that you're in...

At the beginning of the year, B&H were selling the Hasselblad HV kit with hand-picked Sony Zeiss 24-70/2.8, waterproof hard case and beautiful Hasselblad-branded accessories. The price was very heavily discounted, working out to slightly less than the Sony A99 (on which it is based) + 24-70 + equivalent accessories here in the UK at the time. I knew that the camera was a Sony inside, but still I figured it may be the only opportunity I'd get to own a Hasselblad-branded camera that I'd actually use regularly.

Until I saw that camera advertised, I had no intention to buy a full-frame model - I'd decided that I was very happy with my K-3 and K-3II plus lenses; that they did everything I needed. But a Hasselblad... hmmm...

I had similar thoughts to you, but with an additional twist... The HV uses Sony's A-mount. Now, if you think Pentax has poor retail support, Sony A-mount is at least as bad, and possibly worse still. Plus, the money I was about to spend would have bought a nice Canikon full frame body and premium lens, with easy access to further compatible equipment and support in almost any city of any country worldwide. Then again, I knew that Pentax would be releasing the K-1 in a few short months, and since Pentax is where my "heart" is with photographic equipment, did I really want to buy into an entirely different system which would financially preclude me from getting a K-1? A good number of my lenses are full-frame compatible, so the K-1 was a no-brainer if I really wanted a full-frame camera. Lastly, the K-1 and Canikon bodies I could buy would have more recent sensors offering better resolution and low light performance... the HV came out in 2014, but was based on a 2012/2013 Sony model.

After much deliberation, practicality went out of the window and I followed my heart rather than my head. I wanted the Hasselblad, regardless of the lack of retail support, the smaller choice of new and legacy lenses, older technology, even the smirks of the photography community who had ridiculed Hasselblad's re-clothing and re-badging of Sony cameras. I didn't care, I really wanted that camera. So, I bought it, it felt good, and I'm absolutely delighted with it. Buying lenses has been a bit of a pain, it's true, but it's a fantastic system and I get a huge amount of enjoyment shooting with it. I can't ask for more than that.

If you're a hobbyist / enthusiast rather than professional photographer, that's what I think you should do too - go for the camera you most want; the one that will make you feel good when using it. If that's a Nikon, Canon or whatever else, so be it. You don't have to be wedded to Pentax. But if you really want the K-1 - and I suspect you do - then don't worry about the lack of retail support... you'll work around it, and it'll be worth it if the camera you shoot with puts a smile on your face

Last edited by BigMackCam; 12-17-2016 at 01:56 AM.
12-17-2016, 02:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
But if you really want the K-1 - and I suspect you do - then don't worry about the lack of retail support... you'll work around it, and it'll be worth it if the camera you shoot with puts a smile on your face

Mike is perfectly right. I feel delighted every time I hold my K-1 and even more when I see the results.

(But to be honest - with my collection of lenses I don't even look round so much. I decided for Pentax, I'm happy with that choice and I'll stay with Pentax (as long as they produce K-mount cameras).)
12-17-2016, 02:18 AM   #7
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Well, lenses have a long life time and camera bodies evolve anyway. That means, whenever you already have the FF lenses, buying a FF body for the lenses is low risk, even you are skeptical about the local support for the brand and longevity of the brand. Now, if you have to buy all the FF lenses for the new FF camera, then of course you compare different brands side by side.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 12-17-2016 at 02:45 AM.
12-17-2016, 03:25 AM   #8
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What lenses do you have? How many of the lenses that you already have support full frame? That might help with the decision.

12-17-2016, 05:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Ongoing lack of local retail support for Pentax equipment ...and the lack of retail support is not only local from what I read on this forum...equals continuation of less sales, and continued and greater 'invisibility' as a viable product to the point that many consumers in the market are not even aware that Pentax exists.
I think there's an assumption here that is maybe incorrect. Local retail support is disappearing right across the spectrum of products from groceries to PCs; it does not necessarily equal lost sales. In fact as we've seen the Theta has been very popular with Amazon customers and that not a negligible route to market. Yes I'd love to be able to go into a local store and try-before-I-buy but that isn't the world I live in. I buy online for almost all technological items because there is no local store which either stocks them or has knowledgeable staff. I include in this major retail chains whose staff do little but push Canikon or Toshiba or Miele or BMW some other volume product with a strong brand. It seems knowledgeable retail staff who can help you make a measured decision are a disappearing breed.

I'm encouraged by the number of posts we see on the forum from people who have jumped into the Pentax world with a K1 so Ricoh must be doing something right.

So in answer to the OP - if you've been happy with Pentax this long then follow your heart to a K1
12-17-2016, 05:19 AM   #10
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Based on my conversations with RIAC representatives, a limited B&M presence with a focus on online availability is actually part of their marketing strategy. I know that being able to try the gear out locally would be nice, but it is what it is

The K-1 is a great camera, as is just about every other FF DSLR out there. It's hard to go wrong! I'd go with whatever you feel caters best to your needs. Every brand has a slightly different niche and strong points. Is there something in particular that you feel you absolutely must have in your FF (other than image quality)?

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12-17-2016, 07:27 AM   #11
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The status of your current full-frame lens lineup should make your decision much easier. I had no hesitation on the K-1 having kept many high quality full frame lenses from the film era (28-70 2.8 FA*, 80-2002.8 FA*, 50 2.8 FA macro, 50mm FA 1.4, 17-28 fisheye zoom etc). These are all are great on the K-1 and remain useful on the APC bodies like the K-3. While the new DFA lenses are nice, they are expensive and offer little if any advantage over the other brands. BUT, don't underestimate that pentax in body shake reduction feature in full frame. Sure Sony can do it too, but the implementation is better in the Pentax FF. Pixel Shift resolution (not useless despite what some will tell you), Astrotracer for astrophotography, and tilt-shift functions in composition adjustment. The image quality of the K-1 rivals any of the competition. You can't go wrong either way though..all of the full frame cameras are wonderful.
12-17-2016, 08:23 AM   #12
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Strategy for end users coping with Ricoh's marketing strategy

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Based on my conversations with RIAC representatives, a limited B&M presence with a focus on online availability is actually part of their marketing strategy. I know that being able to try the gear out locally would be nice, but it is what it is
So, what strategy is open to the end user who is not a self-sufficient experienced photographer? Where to learn, where to obtain help?

Brick-and-mortar bookstores are increasing rare, so even books must be bought unseen.

Can we count on access to adult education photography classes at a local junior college?

Can we count on support from a local photography club?

Pentax Forums and its users are an excellent resource, but some concerns are best dealt with pre-emptively in documentation and in person.

---------- Post added 12-17-16 at 08:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Based on my conversations with RIAC representatives, a limited B&M presence with a focus on online availability is actually part of their marketing strategy. I know that being able to try the gear out locally would be nice, but it is what it is
Not all the following are Ricoh's responsibility, but Ricoh needs to deliver product that works for the end user who is not experienced and self-sufficient.

Good ergonomics helps make equipment easier to use, but the end user needs both to learn the basics of photography and to learn the technical details of these cameras. Ricoh needs to help the customer learn to use that equipment: document it for the intelligent reader who has no experience.

How to help the user learn the modern DSLR, which is a computer with multiple control schemes making use of each of the camera's control points?

How to help the user judge the performance of the modern lens, which is an automated power-driven machine that is delivered without guarantee that the individual lens performs to the standard that would be expected by the self-reliant experienced user?

Perhaps Ricoh needs to take a look at the strategies of the computer companies that grew the United States market for personal computers in the Seventies and Eighties - selling electronics to first-timers was nice, long-term success came from selling add-ons to satisfied customers. The best example that comes to my mind is Apple, which delivered the Apple II with full documentation, and followed that by making sure that all software for the 1980's Macintosh was designed for ergonomics first.

A read of the comments in about Apple's current hardware and software in the user-to-user discussions on MacInTouch: timely news and tips about Apple Macintosh, iPhone, security and more... shows just how much damage a company can do by ignoring such practices.
12-17-2016, 08:50 AM   #13
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I love the K-1. Amazing camera. Like Adam said all the other FF cameras are great, just matter of preference. For me personally, what sold me on K-1is low light capability shooting higher ISO, Dynamic Range and mostly the 3rd dial at the top, which makes shooting with this camera a joy.
12-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #14
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Local presence has gone up for me - earlier in the year a local store started stocking an entry level body, a 55-300mm and I think a da35mm. They may also have had that small Pentax flash. Those are all singular, no visible stacks of Pentax boxes. But! They also gave up valuable front counter real estate for a Pentax display. This is up from absolutely nothing on the dslr side (they've always stocked the theta and I think a P&S or two).

Apart from my initial k100d kit and a local used lens buy, the rest of my Pentax stuff was purchased online, sight unseen. I don't think having it in my hands would have ever made a difference, and I'm ok waiting a week for a piece of gear I plan to use for several years. Realistically, what would a local retail presence for Pentax do for you?

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Yes, I realize that the current 'normal' price for the K-1 is very good...some may argue that therefore...Pentax doesn't need to join in with holiday season price reductions, but I don't buy that argument. That's me.
I hate the retail model of fluctuating prices all the time with sales. I'd prefer electronics just had a steadily declining price (as the product ages) followed by a clearance price to make way for the new stuff.

Blame Canadian Tire. You're a sucker if you buy that **insert half of Crappy Tire's regularly stocked items here** at regular price, because it's probably 50-70% off every 3 or 4 weeks.
12-17-2016, 11:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SnapperDaddy Quote
So, what strategy is open to the end user who is not a self-sufficient experienced photographer? Where to learn, where to obtain help?
...
Pentax Forums and its users are an excellent resource, but some concerns are best dealt with pre-emptively in documentation and in person.
I didn't start in photography until 2009 or thereabouts. All of the knowledge I've gained so far - whether photographic fundamentals, technique, lighting, equipment, processing etc. has all been from:

- researching articles, forum posts, YouTube videos and websites online
- asking questions on forums (primarily this one) and listening to advice... occasionally discarding it
- reading books I've bought or borrowed (some chosen based on online reviews)
- trying out what I've learned from others and from books
- trial and error... getting out and about shooting, making mistakes, but also making progress

I've never been to a camera club, and I've never been inclined to ask shops for advice or help (often, they have an agenda) - though I completely understand why some people prefer face-to-face learning and advice. Reading, learning and trying things out on my own works really well for me, and we have *so* much information and so many resources available to us online nowadays. If you can sift through the misinformation and biased opinions, pretty much anything you could want to know is here on the internet.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 12-17-2016 at 12:09 PM.
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